Monthly Archives: June 2016

Kids Club Wednesday, June 23


Because school is out – and most of us have survived so far – we’ve started a new program called Kids Club (put the apostrophe where ye may), in which from 2 – 3 p.m. Tuesday – Thursday we have a program full of whatevers (games, STEAM, etc.) for 6 – 12 year-olds.

I could have been brainy, I could have been sciency, but nope, we made fortune tellers because… why not?

(Through definitive scientific research, i.e. crowdsourcing on Facebook, I discovered that most of my friends called them fortune tellers, while my New England friends grew up calling them cootie catchers.)

Even funnier, I discovered that not only did Mama Bear and Daddio know what they are – I didn’t expect them to – but they both made them when they were younger, in the 19somethings. Coworker J. sent me this link about their history; fascinating!

In other news, today I found a book that may be the Holy Grail for little boys. A three?year-old asked me for a book that had both dinosaurs AND trucks in it, and after a shockingly short amount of searching, I found possibly the most perfect book, in which dinosaurs drive trucks. The end, that’s it, I can now quit my job knowing I’ve found the most perfect book ever.

The oddest sentence I’ve said today (and we still have over 2.5 hours of work left): “No, sir, I’m not going to have dinner with you tonight at the soup kitchen.”

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I finished the scary book to which I alluded in the most recent post: it’s Joe Hill’s The Fireman. Not as scary as NOS4A2but still superscary. Once I finished that, I needed to read something a bit fluffier, so I picked up something I’d been wanting to read for a while and that Sister A loved, too. I’m due for a rewatch.

And this is how I feel about rewatching it, for the 80000th time.


Preschool Storytime, Friday, June 17


My storytime today was small and full of newbies (children who didn’t know that they were supposed to not behave and parents who didn’t know they were supposed to be on their phones) and we had a great time.

The books, which disappeared into the kids’ hands immediately after we finished, were 66% new and all successful. We loved, and I’ll be sure to use again, Duck’s Vacation , an interactive book that had us laughing with every page. It reminded me a lot of one of my (also very meta) childhood favorites. Next, we read Jeff Newman’s Hand Book, and while I was reading it, I asked everyone to make the motions described in the books. This is another one for my regular rotation, that would even work well with toddlers, too. We finished off with The Seals on the Bus, which none of them knew, and it surprised them.

A winner for a Friday, for sure.

Today is the last day of school for our local public school system.

Let us briefly bow our heads in prayer as a long summer stretches before us.

My moment of the day: When a man came and asked me if I could print him out information on a wig store in Chicago, and I had to say no, because we’re the children’s department, but the adult services section down the hall would be happy to help him. (This is not that unusual, the adults asking me for things, but that request was a bit on the odd side. I mean, hey, you want to research wigs, buddy? You go right ahead. You do you.)

In other news, on Wednesday night I ran into my friend J. (Hi, J!), and she had just come from seeing a sneak preview of The BFG. She said it was great. How could it not be, right, with Spielberg directing? Thanks for the heads up, J. Can’t wait to see it, too!

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I read The Royal We again. Shut up. I love it. It’s so un-fluffy and the characters so well-developed and charming and it’s so, so much more than just “Will and Kate if Kate were American.” I can’t help it.

I don’t often talk about what I’m currently reading, but right now I’m reading the scariest book of the year, bar none. Can’t wait to finish it.

Today’s Double Facepalm


The past few days I’ve been on a reorganizing kick for the board books. I’ve put the main authors together (Eric Carle, Tomie de Paola, Leslie Patricelli, etc.), and they’ve each gotten their own cubbyhole in an attempt to make finding their books easier, since they’re probably the most-requested board book authors.

Today, doing the actual book moving, the board book room was a mess. Books here, books there, books everywhere, piles and piles and piles. (Not unlike this moment from Clueless, except with books.) And that was the precise moment that a nanny came in, looked at the mess, and asked me, “Oh, do you have the board book of ‘The Wheels on the Bus?’ ”

I knew we did; I know our collection well. Yet I wanted to respond, “Lady, are you kidding? You took a second to see the state that this room is in, so obviously you have registered the towering piles of books around me. Do you really think I could find it right this very second?” But of course I didn’t say that. I just put on my best customer service smile  and said that I’d try to find it for her as soon as I could. But then she said it didn’t matter and grabbed a few books at random anyway.

But – for real?

I award this nanny the Double Facepalm for not only a ridiculous question, but for bad timing.


Preschool Storytime, Tuesday, June 14


Happy Flag Day.

I had a whole storytime planned around Flag Day because I was supposed to have preschoolers for my storytime. But since no preschoolers showed up – I had toddlers –  I had to scrap the whole thing and scrabble together a storytime for toddlers. I didn’t get any pictures, but we did Chu’s Day (thank goodness Neil Gaiman’s picture books are nothing like his adult or even children’s chapter books), Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing, and Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons.

Like I said, it was an emergency, so I had to get my stuff together and quickly. None of the parents participated, the kids were generally unruly, and I was not feeling it. But luckily, my new fingerplays went well:

“Five Little Apples” (I made five felt apples with our Accu-Cut):

Five little apples in the bowl

One fell out and started to roll

It bumped the table and hit my feet

How many apples left to eat?

And then you count down from there.

It wasn’t quite seasonal, but I did “Five Little Snowmen,” too:

Five little snowmen, standing in a row

Standing tall in the deep, cold snow

Out came the sun shining hot all day

And one little snowman melted away

Again, we counted down from there. They really liked those rhymes.

Last week I had a toddler storytime – a real one, scheduled to be a toddler one – and somehow it all worked out.


I read Hooray for Hat! again, as an experiment, and learned that it works with all ages, but best with preschoolers. Melanie Walsh has a few in the same vein as Do Pigs Have Stripes? and all of them have been successful. This one I pulled off the shelf at random; I’d use any of them. I like The Seals on the Bus because it’s a nice alternative to the usual song, and it brings in wild animals, which kids always like.

I’m in a funk – boo.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I read a YA book called The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, which was… fine, but if I’m going to read a book about someone born with an abnormality, just give me Geek Love, which did it best.

Then came two ARCs in a row: June, which started rough and I only liked half of it (damn these split books, half in flashback, half in modern times), and yesterday I read Look at You Now, a memoir that was quite moving and even a bit shocking. Tissue alert!

You know it’s summer when…


… you’re back in the Great Hall for baby storytime.

That’s right, it’s definitely summer in the East, and because we’re going to get some crazy crazy numbers of babies and toddlers as we always do, we’ve moved our Thursday 10 a.m. baby lapsit and 11 a.m. baby and toddler storytimes back into the library’s main lobby.

Aside from having to sing a little louder (there was a microphone, but that would have been overkill, I think), it went just the same as any storytime normally would.


I read my books – using A Good Day by the fabulous Kevin Henkes for the first time, and One Hungry Baby again – and sang my songs and there you have it: baby lapsit storytime.

Today’s preschool storytime was SUPERFUN. It was a storytime full of first-time books, and I had a 100% success score with all of them.


If you don’t know Kate Beaton, author of Hark, A Vagrant! – and you should, because otherwise, where TF have you been? – you can start off with The Princess and the Pony, which is a great story, first off, but also has pony farts in it, which guaranteed that the preschoolers would love it.

Hooray for Hat! went off really well too. The kids even chanted parts of it with me each time (can’t say which parts – spoilers!) and it had a nice lesson about giving of yourself to cheer up your friends.

Ghost in the House is a bit Halloweeny, but hey, ghosts are always fun.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I finished the sequel to Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, which was just as fun as the first one, and should also be marked “not just for kids,” too.

Then I went camping and reread Gone Girl (not linking to it, because of course you’ve heard of it), because it had been a while, and it’s just so clever, I keep forgetting how good it is. There are so many books that have been touted as “the new Gone Girl,” and they’re just really not.

After that, I read Emma, because it’s her 200th anniversary. Another book in which the comedy, pacing, and plot is unparalleled, but of course I’m not even comparing Gillian Flynn to Jane Austen.